Matt Kemp continued his torrid start Wednesday night, belting his 10th home run of April to tie the Dodger franchise record.
Named the NL Player of the Week for each of the first two weeks of the season – and the last week of 2011 – Kemp is averaging a home run every 6.9 at bats this season. He leads the National League in each of the Triple Crown categories as well as runs scored, total bases, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Kemp’s latest blast, a solo shot in the sixth inning, had the crowd on its feet chanting, “M-V-P!”. Such chants have become commonplace for the 27-year old outfielder.
“I always get chills when the fans are out there going crazy,” Kemp said.
The only other Dodger to post double-digit homer totals in the season’s opening month was Gary Sheffield in 2000.
A season ago, Kemp was the runner-up in MVP balloting, leading the NL with 39 round trippers, and 126 runs batted in. His .324 average was topped only by Jose Reyes and Ryan Braun. In 2012, Kemp picked right up where he left off.
“The start seems similar to last year,” Dodger manager Don Mattingly said recently. “It’s hard to be much better when the guy was right there in the Triple Crown.”
Kemp and teammate Andre Ethier also have an outside shot at the Dodger RBI record for April. Ethier has 22, second in the league only to Kemp’s 23. The pair has four games left to catch Ron Cey who drove in 29 in April of 1977.
Their April to remember finds the Dodgers in first place 3 ½ games ahead of the Rockies and the Giants.
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